ANCIENT AEGEAN ART Map of Ancient Aegean Art Cycladic Mycenaen Minoan Compare these two works. Seated male lyre player Cyclades, Greece ca. 2700 - 2500 BCE marble; approx. 9” high National Archeological Museum, Athens • What is suggested by the pose that the figure strikes as he plays? • What conclusions can we make about this culture from this small statue? 3 A” B” C” Compare these works. D” 1 Figurine of a woman Cyclades, Greece ca. 2500 - 2300 BCE marble; approx. 1’ 6” high National Archeological Museum, Athens • Art historians generally talk about the “geometricization” of the Cycladic figures. • How does the artist reduce this figure to its fundamental geometries? • What kind of comparison can be made between this figure and other female figures you have seen, especially from the Paleolithic period? • Compare What aspects of the figure has the these works of artist art. emphasized? What has he deemphasized? • What pose does the figure seem to be striking, and how do you interpret that pose? 3 Palace at Knossos (plan) Crete, Greece ca. 1700 - 1400 BCE • The Palace at Knossos is also called the Palace of Minos. • What conclusions can you make about the use of space based on this plan? • What do you think the architect had in mind as he planned this space? Can you imagine how this space might have been planned? 4 Interior stairwell (residential area) Palace at Knossos Crete, Greece ca. 1700 - 1400 BCE • Compare these columns with Egyptian columns. • How are these columns different from Egyptian columns? 5 Bull-leaping; Palace at Knossos Crete, Greece; ca. 1450 - 1400 BCE fresco approx. 2’ 8” high (including border) Archeological Museum, Herakleion • Describe the stylizations of the figures. • How is the bull depicted? What adjectives come to mind as you look at it? • Can we understand anything about this culture from the border of the fresco? 6 Bull Leaping (detail) 5 Warm up: Compare these two works. 7 Spring Fresco (landscape with swallows) Cyclades, Greece ca. 1650 BCE fresco; approx.7’ 6” high Marine Style octopus jar Crete, Greece ca. 1500 BCE approx. 11” high Archeological Museum, Herakleion • How do form and content come harmoniously together in this jar? Snake Goddess Palace at Knossos Crete, Greece ca. 1600 BCE faience, type of ceramic approx. 1’ 1” high Archeological Museum, Herakleion • Q 10.1: What strikes you as immediately significant about this citadel? Citadel at Tiryns (aerial view) Tiryns, Greece ca. 1400 - 1200 BCE Citadel at Tiryns (plan view) Tiryns, Greece ca. 1200 - 1400 BCE • If you were going to attack this citadel, how would you do it? • What would be the challenges you would face as an attacker? • How do you think it might be defended? SPAN A B C • A span is a distance to be bridged in architecture; the diagram shows three ways of bridging a span. • “A” is a post-and-lintel (also called post-and-beam) construction • “B” is corbelled construction • “C” is arch construction Lion Gate Mycenae, Greece ca. 1300 - 1250 BCE limestone relief panel approx. 9’ 6” high • The span is bridged by a post-and-lintel construction, above which is a large block called a “relieving arch,” as it transfers the downward forces out to the posts. • Do you notice anything noteworthy about the column between the two lions? Vault of the tholos of the Treasury of Atreus Mycenae, Greece ca. 1300 - 1250 BCE approx. 43’ high at center Compare the tholos with one other structure. • This space is sometimes referred to as a “beehive.” • What is “Cyclopean construction”? Funerary Mask Grave Circle A Mycenae, Greece ca. 1600 - 1500 BCE beaten gold approx. 1’ high National Archeological Museum, Athens • This death mask is sometimes called the Mask of Agamemnon, but scholars are quite certain that it isn’t his face beaten into the mask, as he lived some 300 years after this mask was made. Repousse is a technique of pounding metal against a shape to create form. Warrior Vase Mycenae, Greece ca. 1200 BCE approx. 1’ 4” high National Archaeological Museum, Athens • Compare / contrast these figures with earlier figures from other cultures. Exit slip: Compare these two works. Aegean Art Key Concepts • The art of the Cyclades, the islands off of Greece to its east, Crete, and the western Greek mainland, Mycenae reveal a rich history of Greece before “Greek Art,” as we think of it, has begun being made. • Cycladic art shows us a people who were interested in music and life, as well as with some funerary rituals. Women also appear to be important in this culture. • The art of Crete, especially the Palace at Knossos, reveals a vibrant, lively culture in which a relationship to the sea was of fundamental importance. Bull imagery was also important to the Cretan people. • The art of Mycenae reveals a culture focused on its own defense, suggesting that it was warring with others.